Global Impact Challenges

Exceptional ideas, extraordinary people

Are you an experienced entrepreneur with an idea that can improve the lives of a billion people using exponential technology?

Do you have a proven track record of success in bringing a moonshot innovation from idea to reality? If you answered "YES!" to both questions, we're looking for you! 

Apply now to compete in SingularityU Global Impact Challenges (GIC) and you could win a coveted spot in the Global Solutions Program (GSP).

About Global Impact Challenges

Global Impact Challenges are annual competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend our transformational Global Solutions Program.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements*:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be fluent in spoken and written English
  • Must be able to attend the entire Global Solutions Program


Additionally, we are seeking applicants who are:

  • Accomplished entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, or others who are already working to solve humanity's grand challenges
  • Outstanding innovators with a proven track record of creating moonshot solutions to the world’s biggest challenges by leveraging exponential technologies
  • Committed to the long-term entrepreneurial journey of transforming a moonshot innovation into a viable startup
  • Doers or makers who are intellectually curious and rigorous
  • Passionate about solving the world’s biggest challenges

* For specific eligibility requirements, see individual challenge pages.

Ready to enter? Find a competition.

“Through the experience, knowledge and network acquired at GSP, I expect to push the project much further.”

— Pablo Orduña

2016 GIC Winner

2017 Challenges

SingularityU Japan
Global Impact Challenge

Applications are open

Enter now

“Singularity University is a place that makes you discover your passions and empower you to change the world.”

— Mariana Vasconcelos

Brazil, 2015 GIC Winner

Past Challenges

Here are some of the challenges we've held in the past.

2016 Competitions

View all

SingularityU 92Y

USA | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Argentina

Argentina | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Central & Eastern Europe

Europe | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Chile

Chile | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Denmark

Denmark | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Finland

Finland | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU France

France | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Italy

Italy | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Mexico

Mexico | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Norway

Norway | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Peru

Peru | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU South Africa

South Africa | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU Spain

Spain | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU The Netherlands

The Netherlands | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

SingularityU University of Georgia

USA | Global Impact Challenge

Competition closed

Become a GIC Sponsor

We welcome organizations (corporations, NGOs, foundations, and educational institutions) that are passionate about improving the lives of millions of people to sponsor GICs. By sponsoring GICs, your organization will demonstrate a strong commitment to creating positive impact, and helping implement novel ideas that have the potential to make significant progress in addressing serious global problems.

GIC sponsor benefits include:

  • Recognition as an innovative leader within a region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Incredible insights on innovation with the opportunity to capitalize on new ideas
  • Valuable goodwill coverage in print, online, and/or in social media
  • Invitation to GSP events (opening and closing) and Summits in your region

For more information on becoming a GIC Sponsor, please contact [email protected].

Sign Up for Updates

You'll be the first one to know about new challenges as they're added.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most commonly asked questions

What is a GIC?

Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual incentive competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges act as a platform to identify outstanding entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend our transformational Global Solutions Program.

Who should apply to a GIC

 

  • Accomplished entrepreneurs, technologists, scientists, or others who are already working to solve humanity's grand challenges
  • Outstanding innovators with a proven track record of creating moonshot solutions to the world’s biggest challenges by leveraging exponential technologies
  • Committed to the long-term entrepreneurial journey of transforming a moonshot innovation into a viable startup
  • Doers or makers who are intellectually curious and rigorous
  • Passionate about solving the world’s biggest challenges

Are you hosting a GIC in my country?

For information on open challenges, you can sign up to receive updates on new GICs as they’re announced

 

What is the GIC schedule?

The schedule varies from one challenge to another. For more information, please consult the individual challenge listings above.

How many people and/or years should a GIC project impact?

The precise desired impact, such as the number of people and years, is specific to each challenge. However, all challenges are typically framed by the following standards:

“How would you solve _____’s greatest challenges (name the challenges) and impact / improve the lives of a billion people in 10 years by leveraging exponential technology?”

What are the eligibility requirements?

Applicants:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must speak fluent English
  • Must be able to attend the entire Global Solutions Program (see GSP overview for program dates)

For specific eligibility requirements, see the individual challenge pages.

Do ideas have to be at a certain stage to be submitted?

No, ideas do not have to be at a certain stage to be submitted. Judging criteria take into account the grandness of the idea (i.e., whether it solves a problem with huge potential for positive impact on millions of people) with the feasibility of being implemented (whether it leverages exponential technology).

 

Who is the owner of the intellectual property resulting from a GIC?

Intellectual property resulting from a GIC belongs to the applicant(s).

What is the GIC review process?

The selection process has two to three phases, depending on the challenge. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner—this is either done remotely via video call, or at a pitch event.

What is the selection criteria for the winner?

  • Degree of solution's relevance to the theme of the challenge
  • Feasibility, viability and coherence of implementing the idea
  • Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
  • Applicant’s leadership experience, profile, potential, and achievements

Note: Selection criteria may vary from one challenge to another.

Is there an obligation for GIC winners to work on their winning project during the GSP?

No, there’s no such obligation from either SU or the GIC Sponsor. The GIC winner can elect to recruit fellow GSP classmates to work on the winning project or create an entirely new project during the summer.

Who comes to SU if a member of an existing team wins a GIC?

If the challenge winner is part of an existing team—the team is not eligible—only the individual who applied would come to SU.

Who pays for the travel expenses for the winner to come to SU?

GIC winners are responsible for their own travel expenses to/from SU.

Who is tasked with organizing a visa for a GIC winner?

GIC winners are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas required for their attendance at GSP. Most of our non-US passport holding participants have attended on a ESTA waiver program, tourist visa, or a B-1 or B-2 business visa. Despite having “University” in its name, SU is not an accredited, degree-granting institution and therefore does not sponsor student visas. SU will provide a letter clarifying that the winner is invited to attend GSP, which the winner may use in support of a visa application at his or her home country’s US Embassy or Consulate.

 

What happens if a visa is denied to a GIC winner?

In the rare case where a GIC winner is denied a visa, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then reapply for admission in a future year.

What happens if a GIC winner cannot attend GSP for any reason?

In all cases where a winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then reapply for admission in a future year. For more information, see the Global Solutions Program overview.